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MLB Opening Day 2023 Best Bets: Tigers vs Rays and Giants vs Yankees

Publish Date: 03/30/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
May 15, 2022: New York Yankees left fielder Joey Gallo watches his two-run home run in the ninth inning Sunday, May 15, 2022, at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. The Yankees defeated the White Sox 5-1. - ZUMAm67_ 0159065353st Copyright: xBrianxCassellax

Baseball fans, the offseason is officially over, and Major League Baseball is back! After an oddly quiet period during the World Baseball Classic (WBC), we eagerly await Saturday’s Final Four – Opening Day is here! Let’s break down some games and discuss our top bets, including money line plays and totals.

Tigers @ Rays | 3:10 PM ET | MLB.TV

Baseball fans can easily distinguish the Rays as a more complete team than their counterparts, though both clubs have their strengths and weaknesses.

Video: Embrace the Expectations | TAMPA BAY RAYS 2023 HYPE

Embrace the Expectations | TAMPA BAY RAYS 2023 HYPE

Therefore, it’s no shock that the Rays are the overwhelming favorites heading into tomorrow’s opener. I have strong reasons why I predict a successful outcome for the Rays tonight – here is why:

Sharp money has come in on the over, and I fully endorse that move. Last season both teams excelled against lefties, so the total of 7 seems a bit low. I’m leaning towards taking the over myself; however, that won’t be my official play for today.

On Opening Day, both teams should have their bullpens fully prepared. The Rays hold a significant edge here as  they have one of the top ten bullpens in the league, while the Tigers rank near the bottom. With Fairbanks, Adam, and Kittridge at their disposal, runs will be hard to come by in later innings; giving the Rays an edge if they have a late lead.

The Rays are the overwhelming favorites; there’s no reason to doubt them tomorrow. Their superior bullpen and potent offensive lineup should give them a comfortable lead in this game from the get-go. With all eyes on Tampa Bay, there’s no reason why the Rays can’t come out on top.

The Pick: Rays +1.5 (+105).

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Giants at Yankees | 1:05 PM ET | MLB Network

The start of the MLB season is upon us, and one of the most eagerly-awaited Opening Day matchups is between the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees, featuring a marquee pitching matchup on the mound. Although Yankee Stadium is known for being hitter-friendly, we’re taking a risk by betting on an under at Yankee Stadium!

Video:

“Earn Your Pinstripes” hype video 😤 YES Network Opening Day 2023

Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole, had an impressive spring and is coming off of a dominant season. On the other hand, Giants starter Andrew Cashner should be able to contain Yankees powerful bats with his hard-hitting fastball/changeup combination.

Given the strength of both starters, runs will likely be limited in this matchup. While both lineups possess enough power for some quick scoring opportunities, I don’t anticipate it against these two elite starting pitchers tomorrow afternoon.

Of course, I admire the starters and their ability to shut down an opposing offense, but I also favor taking the under when there is such a large discrepancy between the money line and run line. Tomorrow the Giants are +144 on the money line but -152 at +1.5 run line, which suggests even the books believe runs will be scarce. Therefore, my bet is on the under.

The Pick: Under 7 (-110).

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